Way back when
When I started playing poker seriously in the 1990s the landscape was very different. If you walked into the Victoria Casino in the afternoon you would be greeted by as many as thirty seven card stud games – all self dealt, all £50 buy-in and all 50p antes. Hold’em wasn’t really a thing yet. The only other game you would see in the room was kalooki but that player pool has all but gone now.
Cash games were where it was at. Tournaments were looked at very differently and when casinos had tournaments they had select festivals once or twice a year. These days, on any particular week, you could be chasing flags in multiple countries. Twenty years ago it looked more like a tour with little date clashes. The Vic had two major yearly festivals, we’d go to the Irish Open at Easter, the Master Classics in Amsterdam every November, the WSOP in May and so on. It was the same every year. It was a calendar with no clashes. The choice now, to so many varying events, actually means I play less. I can’t play them all, like I used to, so it doesn’t matter what I miss.
I always have considered myself predominantly a cash player. I would play cash at these festivals to win tournament buy ins. We would share small percentages to try and smooth the variance, and it’s also nice to share in successes whether yours or a friends.
Tournaments are king?
Nowadays it is different. I meet many poker players who only play tournaments. That kind of person was almost non-existent twenty years ago. I know it sounds strange but that is true. It is probably a lot down to the internet. You see twenty years ago if you went out to play a tournament and bust then you had to wait until the next day, or maybe the next festival even, for another shot. Online you might play a dozen tournaments at once and as soon as you bust you fire up another. So the internet created a new breed of tournament player.
The one thing that remains the same though is the variance. When playing cash games I expect to win most of the time. I expect to book winning sessions well over 75% of the time and when putting in many hours, perhaps over a few week or two in Vegas, you simply expect to win.
Playing tournaments you expect to lose, harsh, but true. Only 10% typically cash money of any kind at all, so 90% walk way with nothing. There is a saying in golf, ‘drive for show and putt for dough’. It’s a similar type of thing although ‘tournaments for show and cash games for dough’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
When people ask me about the cash game/ tournament thing I tell them that cash is king. That is what pays the bills. Playing tournaments is a little like buying a lottery ticket but at a discount, or with a +EV edge. You play those for the big successes, the dream of a big win, a big score.
£30,000 Cash Game Bonanza!
So, with that in mind, Grosvenorpoker.com have got something refreshing that gives back to the cash game players. The idea is to get players playing cash on Grosvenor, and with this much value on offer (and a softer pool of players than on other major sites), I think I’ll be trying my hand and attempting to get a slice of the action! Full details can be found here:
£30,000 Cash Game Bonanza! Sound good to me.
Playing cash it is about patience and most of the time playing ABC and picking your spots is all it takes. You’ll find me in the Pot Limit Omaha games on Grosvenor playing as ‘Joe Beevers’. I did write a few tips previously on PLO cash but I’ll repeat the important ones here for you:
Play position and play four cards that work together. Don’t play things like 67KQ. Two playable hold’em hands do not automatically make a good omaha hand. Don’t draw to second best flushes or bottom ends of straights. Don’t be scared to raise your button frequently, 6789 10JQK etc are examples of good hands to button raise with.
Winning tournaments is an amazing feeling. Large cheques, trophies, photos are all a lot of fun but remember good cash game players really do ‘get it quietly’.
See you at the tables!